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67%
3 

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Reasonably Good
Dec 28, 2006 07:22 PM 5102 Views
(Updated Dec 29, 2006 06:18 PM)

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I went by the name Sterling. It was a much delayed honeymoon for me and my wife - 10 months after marriage. Chose Darjeeling as was attracted by the prospect of meeting Buddhist monks, monasteries....and hopefully a little peace ! ;).....Not the right expectation for a honeymoon, nevertheless...


We felt Darjeeling to be a beautiful place, although we went during off season (June - September). We reached there in the middle of the monsoon season. As a result we could not make use of the most famous tourist spot - Tiger Hill.


Our experience overall, however was wonderful. We came back with a good feeling. I was especially happy. Normally I would not glance more than once through snaps, but I kept flipping through the Darjeeling snaps again and again and again....


Took the honeymoon package offered by Sterling. Rs. 10,500 for 4 nights, five days, 2 half days of sightseeing, Rs.2400 worth food coupon and frills like complimentary cake, welcome drink...we just had milk :).....I was with my wife, you get the picture right...


The room initially offered was disappointing, expressed it to the Manager. Would like to give full marks to the Manager, who took my feedback in the right spirit and offered a better suite at no extra cost. The place I would like to reduce marks is in the availability of menu items. Most of the good food items were not available and the reason cited was - off season. The other place where marks need to be reduced is the ambience. The place looks slightly run down. Probably, being off-season, maintenance was not a priority. Also no indoor games or activities were available. However, as the staff were mostly trainees, their eagerness to perform with a smile provided a silver lining.


Darjeeling however being the Queen of Hill Stations, overshadowed these minor drawbacks. We spent a good deal of time trekking, which was very enjoyable and will remain etched in my memory for ever. With a violet umbrella over our heads, we even managed to steal a little bit of romance !


Musts:




  1. Sunrise at Tiger Hill




  2. Dali Monastery




  3. Peace Pagoda (or Buddist Temple)




  4. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the adjoining Zoo.




  5. Travel once by the toy train - up or down. Exhausting, but worth it.






Optional:




  1. Mirik Lake




  2. Kurseong




  3. Gangtok




  4. Nathula Pass






How to reach:


By Train: Kolkata -> New Jalpaiguri (NJP) -> Darjeeling


By Air and Road -> Baghdogra is the nearest airport. Flights available from Kolkata and New Delhi. Hire a Jeep from Baghdogra to reach Darjeeling


Bottom Line : Choose Sterling in Darjeeling, if you prefer a low-key holiday. Keep your expectations limited and negotiate for a good tariff.


Guarantee : Spend at least 4 days in Darjeeling and it will be a memorable experience


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